Founder Westergren explains why Pandora cautious on Facebook integration

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Issue Date: 
Jan 20 2012 - 11:00am

From Issue:

Facebook and PandoraIn September 2011, Facebook announced new integration with several music services including Slacker, iHeartRadio, Spotify, MOG and Rdio (RAIN coverage here). Pandora, however, was notably absent.

Pandora founder Tim Westergren explains why in a new Huffington Post article. "Music, on the one hand, is a very social thing," he said. "But I think there's also a very private dimension to it."

Facebook's September integration includes the ability to post what music a user is listening to on partner services to the user's Facebook profile. For example, if I listened to Radiohead's "Kid A" on Spotify, a post would appear by default on my Facebook profile telling my friends that I listened to the track (along with a link to Spotify so they could listen too).

Pandora founder Tim WestergrenWestergren says Pandora surveyed its users and found "a small percentage of them want people to know what they're listening to all the time." Pandora does allow users to share specific songs, channels and other content to Facebook.

Pandora in 2010 tried its own integration with Facebook (RAIN coverage here). Westergren says the "blowback" from that (RAIN coverage here and here) taught the company lessons.

Other music services soon saw blowback of their own after the September announcement. Spotify quickly introduced a "private listening" mode (more here), while iHeartRadio also received criticism (RAIN coverage here).

The former service just recently pulled its Facebook login requirement for listening to personalized stations (RAIN coverage here).

You can find Huffington Post's full article here.

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